Natural Remedies

How to Relieve Ear Pain with the Help of Natural Remedies

Our sense of hearing is one of the most important senses that enable our survival, which is why any physiological interference should be met with careful considerations. Ear pain, both internally or externally, directly affects our hearing and is caused by inflammation, excess fluid, and most commonly, infections.

Earache, as it’s often put, comes as a dull or sharp, sometimes ringing, and burning sensation. It is common in young children and may not be a sign of anything serious. However, in chronic ear pain cases, a doctor will assist you in how to stop ear pain. There are various natural remedies for ear pain that can be used concomitantly with conventional medicine to help in the management and treatment of ear pain.

How To Relieve Ear Pain

  1. Foods
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Home remedies
  4. Alternative Treatments

What is Ear Pain?

From the outer ear, air enters the middle ear via the Eustachian tube(1), equalizing the pressure between these two regions. Meanwhile, fluid is drained from the middle ear to the outer ear. When the Eustachian tube is blocked, both of these functions are hampered, pressure builds up, leading to pain. Moreover, the fluid can become infected further leading to pain and fever.

Causes of Ear Pain

Pain in one or both ears can be as a result of various reasons, some of which may entirely be unrelated to the ear. When it comes to ear pain, there are common and uncommon causes which can be further attributed to primary (related to the ear) and secondary (unrelated to the ear) origins.

Under primary origins are they are directly related to the ear itself, most notably, the ear passageway is known as the Eustachian tube. The most common causes include trauma to the ear, foreign object blockage, and Eustachian tube dysfunction due to pressure build-up from excessive wax.

Uncommon causes of ear pain can be attributed to inflammation of the ear. However, other causes can be unrelated to the ear, and they include neck and throat disorders, dental problems, spinal arthritis, and microbial infections.

Natural Remedies that Help Relieve Ear Pain

Quite often, ear pain can be relieved by natural remedies and wouldn’t require you to visit a physician for a prescription. You can find effective relief from ear pain by incorporating the following remedies.

Did You Know!

Cleaning wax from your ears with cotton swabs or other objects can damage the eardrum and push the wax farther back into the ear!

CURE 1: Foods

Natural foods like garlic, onions, broccoli, ginger, and turmeric have the capacity to provide relief from ear pain due to the unique features they possess. These features, not only aid in relieving ear pain but also promote better health and overall well-being.

1. Garlic for Ear Pain


Garlic has long been revered by the ancients and employed in folk medicine as a pain reliever.

Why does it Work?

Some scientists and nutritionists alike have suggested that garlic contains antimicrobial properties, essential in combating infection. In addition, garlic contains anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation further aiding in relieving inflammation.

How to Use?

To relieve ear pain and keep infection at bay, why don’t you try eating a clove of garlic every day? You can also make garlic ear drops to help reduce pain and even prevent an infection from worsening.

How Much to Use?

Cook three minced cloves of garlic in two tablespoons of mustard oil, let it turn to a golden brown colour and strain the mixture. Apply two drops on the affected ear.

2. Onions

Why does it Work?

In comparison to garlic, onions also combat infections and provide relief to ear pain. It contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Use?

Heat the onion in a microwave for one minute, strain the liquid and use it on the affected ear, let it sit for ten minutes and allow it to flow out of the ear. If necessary, repeat this process until the pain subsides.

How much to Use?

A single large onion bulb will suffice.

3. Ginger

Why does it Work?

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory food that can aid in soothing ear pain.

How to Use?

Obtain ginger juice extract, warm it and apply around the outer ear canal. Do not apply it directly into the ear. You should feel some relief from ear pain.

How much to Use?

100 g of Ginger will enable you to make enough extract.

4. Turmeric

Why does it Work?

Similarly, turmeric possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties, just like ginger that relieve ear pain.

How to Use?

Obtain turmeric juice extract, warm it and apply around the outer ear, and you can massage the area gently. Do not apply it directly into the ear canal.

How Much to Use?

100 g of Turmeric will enable you to make enough extract.

CURE 2: Essential Oils for Ear Pain

Oils are concentrated liquid extracts from most plants all over the globe. Oils are usually inhaled or applied topically when in dilute form. It is important to note, however, that these oils should never be ingested or applied in their concentrated form. Additionally, oils aid in relieving ear pain, swelling and discharge.

Some of the best essential oils to relieve ear pain include:

1. Tea Tree Oil for Ear Pain

Tea tree Oil

Some ear pains are caused by fluid or material buildup in the ear, while others are caused by infections.

Why does it Work?

Tea tree oil contains an antibacterial component called terpinen-4-ol(2), which is also an anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, it has astringent properties that dry up fluids embedded in the ear. Tea tree oil is thus useful as a natural remedy for ear pain that results from infection or fluid buildup.

How to Use?

Add three drops of tea tree oil to one tablespoon of olive oil and warm it to thin the mixture.

How much to Use?

Apply four to five drops into the ear canal and hold for ten minutes before letting it drain out.

2. Mustard Oil

Why does it Work?

If an ear infection is the source of your pain, then the antibacterial properties of mustard oil will effectively cure ear pain. Moreover, mustard oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that soothe inflammation.

How to Use?

Mix a few drops (two to three) of mustard oil in 100 ml warm water.

How much to Use?

Gently pour four to five drops of this mixture into the ear canal. Let it sit for half a minute before draining it out. However, it should not be used if your ear pain is due to eardrum rupture.

3. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Why does it Work?

Olive oil goes way back in antiquity as an anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, olive oil can be used to decongest the ear from wax build-up by liquefying the wax. Olive oil isn’t an essential oil. Therefore, you can use it in its concentrated form and quite liberally unless you have a ruptured eardrum.

How to Use

Pour olive oil into the ear canal and hold for ten minutes and let it drain.

How much to Use?

A quarter teaspoon (1 ml).

CURE 3: Home remedies for Ear Pain

Other home remedies that help relieve ear pain are as follows.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an all too familiar chemical in most of our household, but did you know that it can be used to relieve ear pain?

Why does it work?

Hydrogen Peroxide is a disinfectant, reducing bacteria numbers and making ear surfaces sterile.

How to Use?

Using a dropper, introduce hydrogen peroxide into the ear and let it sit for ten minutes and let it drain out. Rinse with cold water afterwards.

How much to Use?

Eight Drops of the solution.

It should be noted that when using hydrogen peroxide to relieve ear pain, bubbles dues to effervescence will appear, this is natural. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to unclog wax from the ear canal.

2. Cold and Warm Compresses

Ice packs or warm compresses are commonly employed to relieve pain. The same can also be used in case of ear pain. Using cold or warm compresses is safe for kids as well as adults.

Why does it work?

Cold compresses numb the area and prevents inflammation while hot compresses relax the muscles improving blood flow.

How to Use?

In the case of a cold compress, place an ice pack or cold damp cloth over the affected ear for about twenty minutes. With a hot compress, place a heating pad or a warm towel over the ear for about twenty minutes. Both of these methods serve to provide temporary relief to ear pain.

3. Apple cider vinegar for ear pain

Apple Cider Vinegar

Some research has supported the use of apple cider vinegar to treat outer ear infection and in the subsequent management of pain; however, further studies are necessary.

Why Does It work?

Apple cider vinegar possesses antimicrobial properties as well as being an astringent.

How to Use?

Mix equal portions of apple cider vinegar with warm (not hot) water, with a dropper, apply this liquid into the affected ear and cover with a cotton ball. This will let the solution sit in the ear for five minutes. Let it drain, and repeat if necessary.

How much to Use?

Eight drops of this liquid.

4. Suckling

Why Does It work?

Sucking reduces pressure in the Eustachian tubes, providing some ear pain relief.

How to Use?

Babies who are still nursing feel better when encouraged to suckle frequently. Adults and older children, on the other hand, can suck on hard candy or cough drops to provide relief.

How Much?

Frequently to alleviate the pain.

Some researchers have even suggested that breast milk changes its composition based on the antigens a baby is exposed to!

CURE 4: Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapy has been employed to assist in relieving pain, for instance, after accidents, injuries, and in the management of back pain. Ear pain, when not severe, can also be managed with alternative therapy.

1. Massage

Massage for ear pain

Gentle massage can relieve ear pain radiating from jaws or teeth. Massaging the tender area just behind the ear and surrounding muscles of the jaws and neck can also help in managing pain from ear infections.

Why Does it work?

Massaging relaxes the muscles, increasing blood flow to the region and draining excess fluid present lessening the pain.

How to do it?

To massage, apply slight pressure behind the neck going downwards in a repetitive motion, then gently work forward to the front of the ears.

How Much?

Whenever you experience severe ear pain, get instant relief from it by massaging.

2. Sleeping Position

Why does it work?

Certain sleep positions tend to aggravate pain that stems from ear infections, while some positions help relieve it.

How to do it?

Sleeping with the affected ear raised can help with drainage issues instead of having it faced down toward the pillow. You can also elevate your head with extra pillows to facilitate faster draining of the ear canal. Moreover, sleeping facing upwards, on your back is often advised as it reduces pressure build-up in the ear.

How often?

Every night if you have ear pain.

3. Neck Exercises

exercises for neck pain

Why does it work?

Pressure build-up in the ear canal is one of the causes of ear pain, and neck exercises can help relieve this pressure, subsequently relieving ear pain. Neck rotation exercises are best fits to help reduce this pressure.

How to do it?

To perform neck rotation exercises: Sit upright with your feet flatly grounded. Slowly, rotate your neck to the right until your chin lies parallel to your right shoulder. Similarly, do the same towards the left. Then, raise your shoulders high, as if you are trying to cover your ears with them and repeat the exercise.

As you move to the right or left, hold your head in place for a count of five, to stretch the neck muscles.

How Often?

Neck exercises can be done anywhere and anytime throughout waking hours.

Bottom Line

Natural remedies on how to relieve ear pain are usually dependent on the cause and severity of the issue. In severe cases where fever is involved, it would be prudent to seek medical attention. However, if the pain is acute, then the remedies mentioned above can help manage or get rid of ear pain. Have you ever used some of these natural remedies? Do you have new ones that you can add to the list? Please let us know.


1. Why Natural remedies for ear pain?

Natural remedies are safe, effective and provide relief fast in both adults and children. It is wise to limit the use of antibiotics and focus more on pain management.

2. When do I Seek Medical Attention?

Medical attention should be sought after when your condition persists or worsens after employing natural remedies for about five days.

3. Should I stop Prescription Use?

No. If you have already been prescribed a dose, continue using it as usual. There is no harm in employing natural remedies together with conventional medicine. They’ll augment each other to provide relief.

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